More than half of Canadians are afraid when they have to call a stranger: survey

If you're afraid of calling strangers, you're not alone. According to a recent survey, more than half of Canadians share the concern.

In an online poll conducted by Research Co., 53 percent of Canadians said they feel anxious when having to call someone they don't know.

“Two-thirds of Canadians ages 18 to 34 (66 percent) are afraid of talking to a stranger on the phone,” said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., in an interview press release. “The proportions are lower among those aged 35 to 54 (55 percent) and those aged 55 and older (40 percent).”

When it comes to texting and email, Canadians remain divided: 46 percent of people believe this form of communication is impersonal, while 47 percent disagree, according to Research Co.

When the data is broken down by region, nearly half (49 percent) of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents consider text messages and email to be impersonal. This proportion is slightly lower among people in Ontario (48 percent) and British Columbia (47 percent), and even lower in Quebec (44 percent), Atlantic Canada (42 percent), and Alberta (41 percent).

When Canadians were asked how they felt when speaking in front of others, 43 percent said they were not afraid to do so. For women, however, this proportion drops to 39 percent.

The survey also shows that Canadians prefer certain types of communication for certain tasks.

For example, over a third of Canadians (35 percent) would choose to call if they needed to ask their community or city hall a question, while 31 percent would email and 22 percent would prefer to make an in-person appointment .

41 percent of Canadians said they would make a call if they had a question for their bank, while around three in ten (31 percent) would choose to meet in person. However, fewer Canadians would choose to communicate with their financial institution via email (11 percent), an app (nine percent), or text message (seven percent).

When it comes to ending a relationship, 77 percent of Canadians believe it's best done in person.

For 9 percent of people, texting would be a reasonable way to break up, but that proportion has risen to 13 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds, according to the survey.

When asked which option they prefer when resigning from a job, 68 percent of Canadians would choose to do so in person, while 13 percent would choose to leave their job after sending an email, whereby this decision is made by 19 percent of Canadians aged 35 to 54 years.

Canadians remain divided on how they order groceries home, with a very similar proportion choosing to call (40 percent) or use an app (38 percent).


The results are based on an online study conducted August 17-19, 2023 among 1,000 adults in Canada. Data were statistically weighted by age, sex, and region using Canadian census figures. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen out of twenty.

Reporting for this story was funded by the Meta-funded Afghan Journalists in Residence Project.

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